HANNOVER MESSE 2019, 01 - 05 April
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A Cologne-based spin-off can measure steel in real time

Although hot rolling is a widely used process in steel production, it has hardly been possible to precisely measure the steel strips to date. Mecorad, a spin-off from the Cologne University of Applied Sciences, has come up with a solution.

27 Jul. 2018
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A Cologne-based spin-off can measure steel in real time Picture: Deutsche Messe AG)

According to the young entrepreneurs at mecorad, it has not been possible to precisely measure the glowing steel strips to date due to water vapor, whirling dust and thermal radiation. They use radar sensor technology that apparently allows precision measurements down the last micrometer at any point in the process in real time. The sensors are mounted around the rolling mill and measure the metal's thickness, width and length directly in the production line. Apparently the results are currently accurate down to the twentieth of a millimeter. The technology can be installed in both old and new plants. According to mecorad, a pilot plant has already been successfully tested.

The method is suitable for minimizing losses due to inaccurate measurements while giving the company's digitization a boost. Mecorad sees room for growth here: additional services along the value chain complete the startup's portfolio. These include software for specialized measurements, process analysis and control algorithms. And the market is big indeed: according to the German Steel Federation, a total of about 42.1 million tons of the material was produced in Germany in 2016. The largest customers are the automotive and construction as well as the mechanical engineering industries.